In Arabic, halal literally means ‘permissible’ or ‘lawful’. Halal is no longer an expression of an esoteric form of production, trade and consumption, but part of a huge and expanding globalized market in which certification, standards and technoscience play important roles. Over the past three decades, Malaysia has become a world leader in the global expansion of halal markets. This has come about in large part because the state and government of Malaysia have taken on the role of halal-certifying authority within the country. In effect, it has certified, standardized and bureaucratized halal production, trade and consumption. Based on fieldwork in Malaysia, this article explores how manufacturing companies understand and practise halal certification, standards and technoscience. I argue that while existing studies of halal overwhelmingly explore micro-social aspects such as the everyday consumption among Muslim groups, ‘the bigger institutional picture’ that frames such consumption production and regulation are not well understood. By studying halal production, I provide an ethnography of the overlapping technologies and techniques of production and regulation that together warrant a product as ‘halal’ and thereby help to format the market.